Monthly Archives: June 2016

Scholars work at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Gardens

Our three REEP McLaren Scholars have spent 2 days at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) in Stratford-upon-Avon. They helped to design and plant seasonal and permanent borders in the gardens of Hall’s Croft and New Place, studied Tudor vegetables at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage Garden, and spent some time exploring the SBT archives.

You can see photos of the Scholars’ experience at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Gardens on the rhiannon@reep Facebook page

Scholars work at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Gardens 2017-11-03T14:22:41+00:00

Redevelopment of Essaouira

Last week I took a trip to Morocco with my family, visiting Essaouira amongst other places. As Essaouira is at the very heart of REEP’s Shore to Shore project I’ve visited here a number of times and have been fortunate to witness the gradual redevelopment of this charming little coastal town in its quest to attract more tourism.

In a previous post I looked at the planting along the promenade in Essaouira, and the measures the town had taken to ensure the plants flourished in the face of extreme maritime conditions. During my visits to Essaouira earlier this year the town gardeners were hard at work on a new planting scheme outside in the Bab Sbâa area.

Development of the Bab Sbaa area in Essaouira


Although only planted a few months ago it was well established and in full flower during my visit there last week, with plants including Tulbaghia, Gaura, grasses, palms and the iconic Norfolk Island Pine, Araucaria heterophylla. Just beautiful…

New planting in the Bab Sbaa area in Essaouira New planting in the Bab Sbaa area in Essaouira New planting in the Bab Sbaa area in Essaouira

I was slightly disappointed to find so much construction underway around the town though. It seemed that there was a tractor, crane or some such machinery in almost every corner of the town which slightly tainted my family’s first taste of Essaouira, especially when we turned up for dinner at the lovely restaurant, Chez Sam, on the harbour to find that it was now nothing but a pile of rubble!

Construction work in Essaouira

Yet the locals seem in favour of this work as it is part of a major redevelopment project which will see the port transformed into a vast, European-style port in much the same style as Agadir. I’ll reserve my own judgement until the work is finished, but I can’t help but think it will lead to the loss of the town’s essential Moroccan flavour.

Redevelopment of Essaouira 2017-11-03T12:35:22+00:00